The Guest List
By Lucy Foley
William Morrow, 9780062868930, June 2020, 320pp.
The Short of It:
The cast of characters have arrived for a wedding on a remote island. What should be a celebratory event turns out to be a deadly affair.
The Rest of It:
Will and Jules are two, beautiful people. Happily successful in everything they do, they are the “it” couple and an invite to their wedding is not something the average person would ignore. Made up of old school chums, fellow colleagues and of course, the families of the bride and groom, the guest list is quite the to-do.
But Will and Jules are rather self-possessed and annoying. Jules has one bridesmaid, her younger sister who shows up to the wedding a bit of a mess. Will’s groomsmen are all extremely immature and juvenile but clearly there is some unfinished business between some of these characters and a big secret which could ruin the entire wedding.
I do enjoy a good story where the characters find themselves isolated with nowhere to hide. That sense of forced confinement really adds to the suspense and that is absolutely the case here. I didn’t see the big reveal coming until it was right in front of me. It was a good and proper ending for this story.
The setup is very similar to Foley’s earlier book, The Hunting Party. In that book, they arrive for a New Year’s Eve party, held at a fancy hunting lodge. The players in that book, share some similarity with those in The Guest List. That story takes place on secluded grounds, as does The Guest List. I feel that The Guest List possessed a bit more oomph in the area of suspense though and its reveal packed a more powerful punch. I was definitely more interested in these characters than the ones in The Hunting Party.
If this is a formula that Foley uses to write her books, then it’s a good one because both books are pretty entertaining and have done pretty well for themselves. Out of the two books, I’d recommend The Guest List for its setting.
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
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15 thoughts on “Review: The Guest List”
Yay, this sounds really fun! I also love it when the characters are isolated like this — the bookish version of a bottle episode.
I’ve read this one and the other Foley book you mentioned. They were fun, but pretty predictable. I think that’s why I enjoyed them – at the time I wanted something quick and easy to read and they both fit the bill. Glad to see you enjoyed them both 🙂
I thought The Guest List was a bit more interesting and I didn’t figure out the big reveal as far as who… I just knew someone was going down.
I’m glad to hear what you thought about this one, which I do own and haven’t read yet. I love a good ‘locked room’ mystery. Will look forward to it. And I’ve read The Hunting Party and liked it.
I enjoyed locked room type mysteries too and this one has a lot of family drama which keeps it interesting.
This sounds interesting, but I wonder if anyone has written a book like this in which the main characters are not as likeable/successful
I would say her other book, The Hunting Party has very unlikable characters and not very successful at life at least not from what I remembered.
I need to get to this book sooner rather than later. I’m still working on 11/22/63….hoping to finish it up today or tomorrow.
11/22/63 takes awhile to get through. Anxious to hear your thoughts on that one. It wasn’t one that worked for me, oddly.
I’m sold! This sounds really good… adding to my list.
I’m going to try the audio of this at some point even though The Hunting Part was a DNF for me. I like the premise.
It sounds entertaining to me and a good escape read. I’m game. Interesting how her two books have the same kind of construct.
Yeah. I thought they were pretty similar in style too. Of the two I liked The Guest House better. I liked how the ending came together.
I agree with your review; I didn’t see the outcome until I read it. I’ll tell you, though, as soon as the book opens and describes the boat ride to the island, I thought “I’d skip the wedding!” 🙂
Haha. You say this to me, a person who got so sick on a boat to Catalina that I spent the entire day in Catalina sick on the shore and it took allllll day for my friends to get me back on the boat to go home. If I do a boat of any kind I have to take at least *three* Dramamine and wear one of those Sea Bands too.